Marine Aquaculture (Mariculture) BAG220

Saltwater Fish, Crustacean, and Shellfish Production

Mariculture is a sub-category of Aquaculture that deals specifically with Marine Aquaculture. It is the farming of salt water species of fish, shellfish, seaweed and other marine products. In this course, you'll learn to plan and manage the farming of a wide variety of marine life.

According to the FAO, Mariculture may be defined as:

The culture of marine organisms, both plants and animals, in an aquatic medium or environment which may be completely marine (sea), or sea water mixed to various degrees with fresh water. This definition would include both the sea and inland brackish-water areas. These can be freshwater or salt water organisms, or have development phases in both types of waters.”

Course Duration: 100 hours

Course Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course.

  1. Aquaculture Production Systems
    • What is Mariculture
    • Purposes of mariculture
    • Classification of culture systems
    • Extensive production (Ep)
    • Intensive production (Ip)
    • Classifications based on system input
    • Open systems (off-shore and near-shore)
    • Semi-closed systems
    • Closed systems (on shore)
    • Common culture method for each marine category
    • Cage culture
    • Cage design: Floating flexible, floating rigid, semi-submersible and submersible
    • Hanging Culture: Raft and suspended trays
    • Long-line culture
    • Vertical or rack culture
    • Bottom culture: Bottom sowing and cultch lines
    • Stone, stake culture, net and umbrella culture
    • Semi-enclosed: flow through tanks
    • Closed Systems (CAS): Recirculating, raceways, and inland ponds
  2. Starting a Marine Aquaculture (Mariculture) Business
    • Economics of establishing and running a farm
    • The need for a feasibility study
    • Economic analysis
    • Requisites for establishing a business
    • Factors to consider
    • Industry competition
    • Availability of leased and quotas
    • Economy of scale
    • Site selection and water quality
    • Properties of salt water
    • Water quality management
    • Environmental impacts.
    • Food chain problems
    • Using wild broodstock
    • Nutrient pollution
    • Chemical pollution
    • Spreading pathogens
    • Escapes
    • Habitat effects
    • Managing environmental impacts
    • Improving the genetic quality of fish
    • Biotechnology
  3. Choosing a Species
    • Choosing a marketable species
    • What information is available?
    • Understand your competition before selecting a species
    • Common mariculture species
    • Selection criteria
    • Climate
    • Water resource
    • Finance
    • Scale of operation
    • Market demand and access
    • Availability of animals
    • Risk considerations
    • Product markets
    • Product, price and promotion
  4. Finfish
    • Industry overview
    • Types of mariculture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Growout
    • Commonly cultured species
    • Tuna
    • Atlantic salmon
    • Steelhead Salmon (Saltwater rainbow trout)
    • Yellowtail (Japanese Amberjack)
    • Sea Bass
    • Gilt-head sea bream
    • Water quality management
  5. Crustaceans
    • Industry overview
    • Types of mariculture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Growout
    • Commonly cultivated species
    • Penaeid shrimp (prawn)
    • Graspid Crabs
    • Lobster
  6. Molluscs and Echinoderms
    • Industry overview: molluscs
    • Types of bivalve culture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Growout
    • Abalone
    • Oysters
    • Cultured mussels
    • Scallops
    • Giant clams
    • Industry overview: echinoderms
    • Types of mariculture
    • Breedstock/seed supply
    • Growout
    • Commonly cultivated species
    • Sea Urchins
    • Sea cucumbers
  7. Seaweeds and Aquatic Algae
    • Industry overview
    • Types of mariculture
    • Broodstock/seed supply
    • Land-based cultivation systems
    • Tanks
    • Ponds
    • Sea cultivation
    • Farming methods
    • Vegetative cultivation
    • Cultivation involving a reproductive cycle
    • Commonly cultivated species
    • Laminaria japonica
    • Porphyra sp.
    • Undaria sp.
    • Eucheuma seaweed
  8. Pharmaceuticals
    • Pharmaceutical value of marine organisms
    • Examples of species used in marine biotechnology
    • Sea urchin
    • Sea cucumber
    • Marine sponges
    • Seaweeds (algae)
  9. Diet Formulation and feeding
    • Feeding strategies
    • Nil input
    • Water fertilisation
    • Supplementary feeding
    • Complete diet feeding
    • Fish feed
    • Feeding and feed components
    • Environmental problems associated with fish feeding
    • Mycotoxins in feeds
    • Aflatoxins
    • Ochratoxins
    • Fumonisins
    • Trichothecenes
    • Managing mycotoxins in prepared feeds
  10. Health Management – Diseases and Parasites
    • Causes of disease
    • Health management and mitigation strategies
    • Treatment of diseases and parasites
    • General principles
    • Common signs that fish are unhealthy
    • Common diseases of finfish
    • Emerging pathogens
    • Common diseases of crustaceans
    • Common diseases of bivalves (molluscs)
  11. Harvest and Post-Harvest Handling
    • Examples of product forms
    • Harvest/post harvest handling of selected species

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Mariculture Systems

Marine organisms can be farmed either in their natural environment, or in artificially created environments. These options fall into the following broad categories.

Open systems (Off-shore and Near-shore)

These systems use natural environments where aquatic organisms grow naturally in order to culture them. Water enters and leaves the system without the need of pumps, and most of the nutrients come with the water. Nutrients may be added in certain cases or for certain periods of time, as in salmon cage cultures. Open system advantages are: better water exchange and lower rate of diseases.

Offshore systems tend to involve fewer user conflicts compared to near shore systems. The disadvantages of both systems are: higher quality variability and loss by predation and poaching. Offshore systems have other disadvantages related to their exposed position including: equipment damage, mooring problems, net changing difficulties, accessibility in poor weather, higher capital cost, larger service cost, problems undertaking stock assessment and mortality checks, higher cost of insurance, and the need for trained personnel with offshore seamanship skills.

Semi-closed systems

Semi-enclosed systems are systems where water and nutrients are added to the system by means of controlled and man-made structures or effort. Water is circulated one or more times through the system, and then discharged.

These systems need additional equipment, such as pumps and filters. The advantages are that environmental factors can be closely monitored and changed if need be, such as water flow, temperature, quality and oxygenation. Also nutrient input is matched as much as possible to the need of the population being fed, so fewer wastes are produced. Disadvantages are the high costs for infrastructure and manpower. These systems are Intensive Production systems.

Closed systems (On-shore)

Closed systems are not as common as semi-closed systems, as they require high capital input, specialized structures and specialized staff to operate the system. They use mainly water tanks that in the majority of cases are circular.

Closed systems are used nowadays to produce eggs, larvae and juveniles, which are then sold to ‘fish growing’ farms. Closed systems are being tested in the salmon industry with success, although they have not been implemented fully, due to costs, equipment development and staff training.

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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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